Krissy Clark of Marketplace visits Dayton, Ohio, which has one of the worst rates of economic mobility in the U.S., to try to understand why so few poor children in Dayton make it out of poverty and to tell the stories of some who have made it out.
As Clark notes, “for much of the early 20th century, Dayton was known for innovation, opportunity and upward mobility.” But today, “in Dayton, 40 percent of children born poor, stay poor. Just five percent make it to the top fifth of earners by the time they’re adults.”
Dayton is today the home of much educational innovation in part because it is the home of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. The Fordham Foundation’s former president, Chester Finn, grew up in Dayton. An early study of the impact of private school vouchers included results from New York City, Washington, D.C., and Dayton. These case studies take a close look at some of the private schools accepting voucher students. The Fordham Foundation has also served as a charter school authorizer in Dayton and elsewhere in Ohio.